Making friends - especially as a woman

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
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Making friends - especially as a woman

Postby EmmaTL » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:34 pm

Hi all,

We've been here on Crete for just over a month and, I admit, I'm getting a bit lonely and homesick. One thing I hadn't considered was how tough it was going to be to meet other women. My husband has already made some friends - including our downstairs neighbour and our letting agent, plus some of the staff at the cafe we go to a lot - and has been out for drinks. You seem to barely see women out socially and I don't know how I'm going to make any friends.

Any help? :cry:

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Re: Making friends - especially as a woman

Postby Kilkis » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:32 pm

Typically men socialise in the kafeneon while women socialise in their homes. When the men go off in the morning or the evening to drink a coffee, perhaps play tavli or cards and argue with their friends the women go to each others houses to drink coffee, eat cake and gossip. This is especially true of older women. Young single people tend to go out more in mixed groups. Thus it is easy for your husband to go to the kafeneon and join in the conversation than it is for you to break into the female social circle.

I realise that is an explanation not a solution but I can't give you an easy solution. Somehow you need to get friendly with one person and invite them to your home for a coffee. Perhaps the downstairs neighbour's wife. Then you might get invited back to their home and it might be when other people are there so you can start to make other contacts. Be aware that when you do invite people to your home they will be highly judgemental, even if they don't say anything. Go to a lot of trouble. Also be prepared to be asked questions that you would never be asked in the UK such as how much your house cost or what your income is etc.

Another solution would be to invite the men that your husband has become friendly with for a meal along with their wives. Typically all the men will sit at one end of the table and all the women at the other so it will give you chance to make friends with the wives.

Since Greek men and women do everything separately, i.e. socialise, sit at table, dance, sit in church etc I've never quite worked out where Greek babies come from?


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Re: Making friends - especially as a woman

Postby margarita » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:58 pm

Some indication of whereabouts on Crete you live may help people to give you ideas of where you could go to meet other people.

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Re: Making friends - especially as a woman

Postby EmmaTL » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:14 pm

We're pretty much in the centre of heraklion. Hopefully once the girls start school (the European one) I'll get to know some of the mothers.

Our downstairs neighbour is single as is the letting agent. Our landlady is great but she's really busy and has her own friends already. #pitypartyforone

Drapanias David
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Re: Making friends - especially as a woman

Postby Drapanias David » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:02 am

I don't know if you are a church goer, but there is a church which meets in the centre of Heraklion close to the McDonalds takeaway restaurant. Sunday meetings commence at 10.30am. Worship is contemporary in style and meetings are conducted in both Greek and English.

My wife and I live in the west of the island and have been attending a church in Tavronitis. It is a great place to meet and make new friends.

However you cannot ignore the need to try to make friends in your immediate neighbourhood. More and more tavernas and kafeneons are seen with couples and families. If you find one in which you feel at home you will soon find others who are like minded, both local and ex-pats.

Hope you settle soon and I'm sure that once the school starts you will meet many other mums in your situation

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Re: Making friends - especially as a woman

Postby Maud » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:17 pm

The school will be an important contact for you Emma. You are bound to meet other parents there.......and will make new friends for yourself via your childrens friends. If I were you I would use this time between now and the new school term to help your girls settle to life on Crete. - I see from another thread that you are buying a car, so get down to the beach, use the local parks.....where other children and parents will congregate.

Life in a city is never easy, wherever you are in the world. Maybe you will eventually find that village life, (but within commuting distance to the school), suits you better. You are in a good position now to rent for a while and have a good look around at where you want to be. Maybe a school mum will become a good friend and you will decide to relocate near other expat families? Everything takes time, so try not to get too depressed yet. - It is early days and you have a lot to plan ahead for and look forward to. The important thing is to get out of the apartment as much as you can. You won't meet locals whilst you are indoors or on the Internet. The Greeks in general are not as 'web orientated' as many other nationalities, and women are out and about socialising with friends, drinking coffee and having fun.

I have just read on the other thread that you have worked on Crete previously. I assume you know all that we have tried to explain to you about 'Greek Life' in that case? Good luck with making friends.

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Re: Making friends - especially as a woman

Postby Jeffstclair » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:03 pm

We are living in Iraklion just now for a few weeks ,I walk our two dogs every evening on the beach next to the stadium' s a very dog friendly beach and every evening I get into conversation with other dog walkers Men and Women, and end up chatting until it gets dark and the dogs want their supper ...An added attraction to this beach is the fantastic sand sculptures that are being built this week by one local sculptor and a family from the Ukraine .. well worth the walk down past the kite surfers .. jeff

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